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Competition between stimulus-reinforcer contingencies and anticipatory contrast.

Authors
  • Williams, B A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1992
Volume
58
Issue
2
Pages
287–302
Identifiers
PMID: 1402603
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Procedures used to study anticipatory contrast are conceptually similar to those used to study autoshaping, in that two target stimuli signal either higher or lower rates of reinforcement in the following components of the schedule. Despite this signal contingency, anticipatory contrast entails response rates that are higher to the target stimulus followed by the lower rate of reinforcement. To determine the relation between such effects and autoshaping, different variations of the procedure were used in which the signal contingency was presented in the absence of reinforcement in the target components themselves and in which the reinforcement schedules in the different following components were signaled by the same stimulus. Autoshaping effects of this signal contingency were demonstrated when no reinforcement was available during the target-component signals themselves. Intermediate patterns of behavior occurred when reinforcement was available during the target-component signals and when their different following schedules were correlated with the same stimulus. Attempts to isolate these signal and contrast effects functionally by using the signal-key procedure were unsuccessful. The results demonstrate that Pavlovian stimulus contingencies are in competition with the dynamics of anticipatory contrast, thus reducing its occurrence under some circumstances.

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